The unforeseen blessings of typing class

Ed Rood

Little did I suspect back while I was struggling through typing class under Mrs. Zimmach’s careful guidance that someday I would actually be using those acquired skills to send jokes to my friends across the world.

Yep, even the seemingly most useless things in life sometimes end up bearing fruit. Maybe, someday, I’ll even find a use for all the knowledge I garnered while in Mrs. Ryg’s geometry class.

Getting back to my typing skills — things have definitely progressed from the old Smith-Corona manual typewriter I used to pound out my assignments.

Probably the most frustrating part was when Mrs. Zimmach would call for a perfect paper. For some reason, I’d make a mistake in the final words of the final sentence. No way could I erase the error without getting caught.

That’s the beauty of the computer, not only can I use spell-check, I can make changes and no one knows the difference. Mrs. Zimmach would be very disappointed!

So now when I send out a joke over the web, I guess I should remember my old typing teacher and all she put up with trying to get my fingers to hit the right keys. It definitely speeds things up.

What all this is leading up to is an email I received recently. It’s evidently the latest installment in a series of looking-back thoughts from a friend in California. He suggests I pass it on, and since I don’t have all my readers’ email addresses, I figure I might as well do it this way.

Remembering the good old days

Remember when the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum. The prom was in a local restaurant and we weren’t allowed to dance. The girls all wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits. For the first time, we stayed out all night?

When a ’57 Chevy was everyone’s dream car — to cruise, peel out, or lay rubber. People went steady and girls wore a class ring wrapped with an inch of dental floss or yarn coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger. No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked. You got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key?

Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like “That cloud looks like a…?

And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game? Back then, baseball was not a psychological group learning experience — it was a game!

Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?

And with all our progress, don’t you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace and share it with the children of today? So share this with someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Laurel and Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk, as well as the sound of a reel mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, baseball games, bowling and visits to the pool and eating Kool Aid powder out of the package.

Now didn’t that feel good? Just to go back and say, ‘Yeah, I remember that!’

And was it really that long ago?

Ed Rood is the former publisher of the Tri-County Times. He and his wife, Sharon, live near Cambridge.